How many dogs can I walk at once? (UK)

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The number of dogs that you can walk at once will depend on a lot of different factors. Some will be legal restrictions but others will be based more on common sense, your experience and your environment.

TLDR: How many dogs can you legally walk at once in the UK? Your insurance usually limits you to 6, some insurers cover more but your local council may have an upper limit in place, usually 4.



Your insurance documents should be the first place to look and confirm the upper number of how many dogs you can walk at once. The most common default number is six.

Some insurers will increase that number by request but usually no higher than eight. Note that your own dog, if you take them, is included in those numbers. You’re insured for being in charge of a set number of dogs and although your own dog will not be covered by the insurance, they are included when it comes to numbers.

Double-check the wording of your particular insurer to confirm if it’s a policy limit or a per person limit. For example, if you have an employee covered under the same insurance policy are you allowed to walk six dogs in total (the policy cover) or is it six dogs per person covered by the policy.

Standard cover as of January 2022

6 dogs – Clivertons

6 dogs – Protectivity

6 dogs – Pet Business Insurance  

cartoon graphic of a man walking a white dog


Your choice of vehicle will naturally restrict the number you can take at any one time.

Rule 57 of the Highway Code states “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly.” 

In a car, this would mean crated, seatbelt harness or behind dog guards. So if you can get six dogs in your car whilst satisfying those requirements then you can take six dogs.

Note, it is perfectly legal to have dogs travel on the passenger seat as long as they satisfy the ‘suitably restrained’ condition. I.e. Harnessed and clipped into the seatbelt is fine but the clip needs to be short enough to prevent them from coming across to you and they need to be well-behaved enough to not distract you. 

If you have a van the same highway code rules apply. Suitably restrained does not mean each dog’s lead is clipped to a carabiner on the side of the van wall (I’ve seen it…)

When using a van each dog must be crated and the crate needs to be secured so as not to slide around. The best solution is to have a professional crate system installed but not everyone can afford this initial expensive adaptation to their van.

The next best solution is to use crash-tested crates, but again this is still an expensive option.

Using standard crates, which are very well secured to the van floor, sides and/or each other will certainly satisfy the highway code and traffic laws however when it comes to safety you may wish to upgrade as soon as you’re able to.

dog hanging out of a car window enjoying himself


Where you choose to walk should affect your decision on how many dogs to take with you. Local parks shared with the public, their children and other dog walkers can soon become stressful to walk in as soon as you have a sizable group of dogs to walk.

Choosing less frequented places, even if it adds driving time and mileage, can mean you can take more dogs and have a nicer walk, especially with off-lead groups. Just be aware though that owners of reactive dogs tend to seek out these spaces too so ensure that you’re able to recall and lead all the dogs with you at a moment’s notice. 

Parking should always be a consideration too. Pulling into a car park and unloading six excited dogs ready for their walk is perfectly manageable. Doing the same with six dogs on a residential street next to a city park is a completely different experience.

two people sat on a park bench with 4 dogs

Council regulations

Some councils have regulations that apply to all dog owners, or just to professional dog walkers, regarding the maximum number of dogs per person allowed in their council-owned spaces.

For example, (covering several London parks) have a requirement to register as a licenced dog walker and restrict their licence holders to four dogs.

Some council-owned parks are also on-lead only which makes walking six dogs at a time a miserable experience for all involved. 

Types of dogs

Consideration of the types of dogs you walk together should also be kept in mind when deciding how many dogs to walk. Just because four dogs live close to each other doesn’t mean they’re good candidates for walking together.

Bear in mind their sizes, and, not to be rude, yours too. Even if your walks are off lead there are going to be times when you need them all on the lead and under control. Four unruly, badly trained pugs will be more of a handful than six obedient German shepherds but accidents happen and emergencies happen so if you’re not 100% convinced that you could hold them all then split the group into two walks

how many dogs can i walk at once?


So, how many dogs CAN I walk at once? As you can there are no UK wide regulations of how many dogs you can take out at once. But your reputation depends on the public seeing how you operate your business. Calling your dogs back to you and changing direction on a walk in order to avoid the public becomes an art form.

Keeping the dogs in your care safe during transport, being covered by your insurance and sticking to local councils’ rules and regulations should be a priority. This is a job where you can make a nice living but we must never compromise safety or welfare for the sake of profit.

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